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About Land Revenue Department
The land Revenue Department was in existence even before India became independent in 1947. Revenue Department was in existence in the erstwhile Princely states of Travancore, Cochin, and also the Malabar region which was part of the Madras Provinces. The Revenue administration got special attention during the reign of Marthanda Varma. Marthanda Varma entrusted the work of settlement of lands, both wet and dry to Mallan Sankaran of Palliyadi. Preparation of land records or "ozhuku" containing survey number, name and extent of property, number of yielding trees, name and address of the assignee etc, is one of the most important works connected with Settlement. There are Vilangipper records which give additional information on Ozhukus. The classification of lands was done under the main heads of Devaswom, Brahmaswom, Danam and Pandaravaka was introduced by Mallan Sankaran. The double crop lands were assesses at twice the pattom for single crop lands. Every landholder was given a patta specifying the tax levied on each item of land. The state establishment had a Valiya Sarvadhikaryakkar (Prime Minister), Neettezhuthu Pillai (Secretary), Melezhuthu Pillai (Head Accountant), Rayasam Pillai (Head Clerk) and several Rayasams and Kanakku Pillais (Clerks and Accountant). During the first revenue settlement each division or district in the state was divided into taluks called Mandapathuvatukkals which was further subdivided into Kelvis or villages. The Mandapathuvathukkal was under a Karyakkar and the kelvi under the parvathikar. The Karyakar and the Parvathikar have evolved into the present day Tahsildar and the village officer respectively. Ayilyam Tirunal (1860-1880) who succeeded Swati Tirunal got the services of Sir.T.Madhava Rao as Diwan till 1872. The beginning of agrarian reforms in Travancore started with the reign of Ayilyam Tirunal. The Pandarapattam proclamation of 1865 enfranchised all Sirkar Pattam lands and made them heritable and transferable. The Janmi Kudiyan Proclamation of 1867 provided for fixity of tenure of the tenant. A comprehensive survey and settlement of the lands was conducted in Visakam Tirunal€™s (1880-1885) regime. Land reforms got a fillip under the next ruler Sree Mulam Thirunal (1885-1924). The settlement process which begun during the previous regime was completed with the settlement proclamation in 1886. Consequent on the re- organization of states, Kerala State was formed on 1.11.1956 integrating Travancore- Cochin and Malabar areas. Different set of Laws, Rules and procedures were in existence in Travancore, Cochin and Malabar and the administrative set up was also different. Unified Laws, Rules and Regulations were framed after 1.11.1956. The Department of Treasuries and Civil Supplies were part of the Revenue Department in the past. Later on, a separate department of Treasuries was formed in the year 1963 and Department of Food and Civil Supplies formed in the year 1975.
The Village Establishment and the Revenue Establishment were two distinctive services in the Revenue Department. Separate set of Rules governing the services of Village staff and Revenue staff were in existence. In the year 1984, the Village and Revenue services were integrated and a common Revenue service was formed. Lower Division Clerks and Village Assistants were integrated into one common unit and Upper Division Clerks and the Village Officers were integrated as another common unit. Unified Rules governing the services of various other categories were also framed.
The Head of the Department in respect of the Revenue Department was the Board of Revenue and the Revenue hierarchy consisted of Secretary Board of Revenue, District Collectors, Revenue Divisional Officers, Tahsildars, Firka Revenue Inspectors and Village Officers. The Revenue Board was abolished with effect from 1.7.1998 and instead a Commissionerate of Land Revenue was formed. In the place of Member, Board of Revenue, Commissioner, Land Revenue was appointed. The post of secretary, Board of Revenue was re-designated as Additional Commissioner (LR). The posts of the Assistant Secretaries were re-designated as Assistant Commissioners. The post of Firka Revenue Inspectors was abolished and the post of village Officers were upgraded to that of the Head Clerk/ Revenue Inspector and one post of Additional Tahsildar in each Taluk was also newly created.
Mission and Vision of the department
The Department is under the control of the Revenue Minister. The Secretariat is headed by Revenue Secretary who is assisted by Additional Secretaries / Joint Secretaries / Deputy Secretaries. The Revenue Department is headed by Land Revenue Commissioner who is assisted by Additional Commissioner / Assistant Commissioners. The State of Kerala consists of 14 districts, 21 revenue divisions, 63 taluks and 1453 villages. Each district is headed by a District Collector who is assisted by Deputy Collectors among others. Each revenue division is headed by a Revenue Divisional Officer and assisted by a Senior Superintendent among others. Each taluk is headed by a Tahsildar who is assisted by Additional Tahsildar / Deputy Tahsildars among others. Each village is headed by a Village Officer who is assisted by Special Village Officer / Village Assistants.
The Director of Survey and Land Records at Trivandrum is in-charge of survey operations and updation of land records and is assisted by Additional Director / Joint Directors / Assistant Directors among others. Each district office is headed by an Assistant Director.
The Land Board, Trivandrum is headed by Land Revenue Commissioner who is also the State Land Board and assisted by Secretary for disposal of land ceiling cases under Kerala Land Reforms Act . Every district has Taluk Land Boards headed by Revenue Divisional Officers / Deputy Collectors.
Line departments, Institutions and organizations under the department
Directorate of Survey and Land Records
Major Functions of the department
Revenue Department has very close interaction with the public. Every individual has to approach Revenue Offices frequently for various requirements. The functions of this Department include